Amy Irving knew she'd made it into gossip's major leagues when People magazine delivered her maternity announcement for her -- with a full-page picture of a very-pregnant-looking Irving (the shot was actually a still from her new movie "Micki and Maude"). While it's true that Irving gains more acclaim with every movie she makes, most of the newfound attention is due to the father-to-be -- director Steven Spielberg, household name and friend to kids everywhere. (Inquiring minds want to know -- do they double date with George Lucas and Linda Ronstadt?)

"I don't mind people knowing I'm pregnant -- in fact, I'm so happy about it, I'd like to stand up on top of buildings and shout it," says publicity-shy Irving, who has had several run- ins with celebrity press during her on-again, off-again romance with Spielberg. Irving says she has "pretty much moved to L.A." to live with Spielberg, and says the couple is setting up a nursery, but marriage is not mentioned.

"Micki and Maude," directed by Blake Edwards ("10," "Victor/Victoria") is a conventional '30s-type love triangle with an '80s twist -- professional imp Dudley Moore gets wife Maude (dancer-actress Ann Reinking) and girlfriend Micki (Irving) pregnant at the same time, then has a go at being married to both.

Irving, a Raphaelite beauty who has made a movie career of playing wide-eyed Good Girls, adds "free-spirited cellist" Micki to her list. The actress had to learn the cumbersome instrument for the role (she took piano lessons for "The Competition"). She also got some advance training for her next big part -- how to have a baby.

"I went to Lamaze classes, learned how to breathe, give birth," Irving says, noting the movie's dual delivery scene is her favorite. "It's hilarious. I scream, I throw up a lot, which seems true to form. And I loved wearing the maternity pads." Irving says Spielberg saw the movie with her a few weeks ago. "He told me if I behave like that in the delivery room, he's not coming in."

Her pregnancy hasn't slowed her down visibly -- she's in New York for a month to tape G.B. Shaw's "Heartbreak House" with Rex Harrison for cable. And she's also preparing for her next movie, "The Cradle Will Rock" (no pun intended), which begins filming in January. Written and directed by Orson Welles, "Cradle" is about how Welles produced Marc Blitztein's controversial 1937 play of the same name. Irving has been cast as Welles' wife, playing beside new British heartthrob Rupert Everett, last seen in "Another Country," as the young Welles.

"Orson knows I'm pregnant, and he says it doesn't make any difference," Irving says. "If I'm showing, he'll set up the shots hiding me behind steamer trunks," she laughs.

"This will probably be my last role for awhile," Irving says of "Cradle." "The baby is due in June and I can't realistically expect to find another 'Micki and Maude' very soon. Anyway, now I'm kinda prepared for the real thing. And I have all the wardrobe."

Irving says she's looking forward to the break and the baby. "I haven't stopped for so long, the baby is really kind of a wonderful excuse to stop. It'll take a helluva role to take me away from the role I want more than anything else, which is Mother."